Holiday shoppers can find some great sales, some as high as 70-80 percent off, at Shannon Jewelers up through the beginning of the new year when the store will close for good.
The closing announcement and slashed prices follow owner Steve Shannon's decision to retire at age 70 after 32 years in the jewelry business.
Remaining jewelry will be given a price point for interested buyers and Shannon will be selling all store fixtures, including safes. One 14-karat Camelot Bridal ring is marked down from $1,400 to $840, a Tungsten wedding ring from $165 to $99, and a set of 14-karat gold earrings from $130 to $65.
Born in Union City, Ohio, Shannon moved to Fort Wayne where he first worked at International Harvester, now known as Navistar International, in 1963.
A student at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at the time, Shannon was a supervisor at Harvester for seven years when he saw “the writing was on the wall” for the truck company and decided to do what many without seniority did when the company moved to Ohio: start his own business.
His first location for Shannon Jewelers was in New Haven in 1982. Nine months later he moved to Washington Square across from Bishop Dwenger High School, where he stayed 19 years. Then he moved to his current location at 1505 W. Dupont Road in Northbrook Village.
Shannon's current four employees either have jobs lined up or are returning to school after the store's closing.
Looking back over the last three decades, Shannon said he's had “more than dumb luck” in maintaining a profitable business. Always good with his hands, he wanted to be in a trade where he could use them. “One thing I've always found in Fort Wayne was a good relationship with the people,” he said. “That's something I'll miss, is the people.”
In 1992 he drove a school bus for four to five years just for recreation.
Such people Shannon has enjoyed helping over the years include Bruce Chivington, whose mother was an associate with Shannon for years.
Chivington recently consulted with Shannon in taking the stones from his mother's diamond ring and using them to create separate necklaces for his children.
Shannon doesn't foresee problems in customers maintaining the quality of their jewelry after he's gone, as he “doesn't sell products with problems” and only sees problems that “involve pretty severe situations.”
Retirement plans for Shannon include relocating to an Irish community in Tennessee with his wife, Diana, and finishing their house there.
Shannon plans to keep working, perhaps at Lowe's, to keep up associations.